I will never forget my second-grade teacher. Her name was Mrs. King, and I thought her name suited her perfectly. She was a regal woman, tall and slender, well-dressed, with lovely blonde hair which she wrapped into a bun on top of her head.
But what I remember most about her is that she made me feel loved. And, perhaps more significant, she made me feel that there was something important about me.
She wouldn't have known that I came from an unhappy home where there was lots of tension, where I was frequently yelled at for reasons I didn't understand. I often felt insecure.
But in Mrs. King's class, I felt cherished and was aware of myself blooming, even at that young age. She noticed that I excelled in reading and writing and now, 40-something years later, I fondly recall sitting at the round tables in our reading groups, feeling I must have been the best reader and writer in the whole world. I am sure she complimented all her students, telling them they were great readers and writers, too. It's just that I really believed her.
Many years later, I found out Mrs. King had been a Christian Scientist. And as I began a serious study of Christian Science in my late 20s, I could understand why she would have praised her students so freely. It would have been natural for her to see the good in each child, and it would have been her joy to bring out the best in each one. She must have loved herself a lot, too, because she would have known she was a very precious, important child of God as well.
Many times over the years I've found it difficult to like myself, much less love myself, because of what I believed myself to be - a mortal with all kinds of hopeless faults. But the more I study what Mary Baker Eddy wrote in her textbook of Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," about God and his perfect idea - you and me - the more I've learned to love myself and, because of what God made me to be, to correct whatever needs correcting.
She repeatedly affirmed that God is Love, totally good, totally pure, and that He is also the Creator, the only Creator, of the whole universe. And because God is Love, there would, and could be, no other reason for God to create us, unless He loved us.
Because we are God's children, the reflection of His flawless character, we can and should love who we truly are. It's not an egotistical thing to do. In fact, it's vital to the salvation of the world to love and live up to our true selves, because when we do, we find it much easier to love others. We don't need to (and I find I can't) love ugly qualities we sometimes display, such as anger, hatred, greed, selfishness, egotism. But thankfully, they are not actually a part of us, and they fall away naturally as we grow in our expression of love.
Another important aspect of our being is that we are as eternal as God. Just think of the good we have to look forward to, uncovering dormant abilities God has given us.
I found out about my writing skills when I was young, but since then I have discovered many other wonderful God-given talents and abilities. I received a "D" in my art class in high school and thought I had no artistic tendencies whatsoever. But after I began to appreciate myself the way God does, I realized I had a great love for art and a talent for different kinds of artwork.
Because of her unselfish caring, my second-grade teacher deserves much gratitude. She gave me the confidence, based on her understanding of God, to develop those writing skills. Later, as an adult, I proofread for a newspaper, I was an editorial assistant for a book publisher, and I have been published in magazines and newspapers.
But we don't need a person to tell us how great we are. Our true Parent, God, is speaking directly to each of us, and you may be relieved to find out what your Father-Mother thinks of you.
Go ahead and unconditionally love yourself today - and always.
Be ye glad and rejoice
for ever in that which I create.